By Josh Mosley
We have an agenda here at the Swing. We’re an NL Central website that occasionally takes a trip outside of the division to scope on issues that affect all of baseball. So when make this next statement you might call me partisan, biased and down right wrong. Well guess what? That’s what journalism, especially blogging, has come to. Opinions are just that: slanted based on how you see the world. So deal with it.
The National League is far better and light years more interesting than its younger counterpart, the American League.
I grew up in the National League and didn’t attend my first AL game until this past May. And I went to another one in June. They were fun and all. And when it comes right down to it, baseball is baseball. But here are the reasons not on paper that the NL wins my vote for the superior league.
Because the train wreck players are more interesting in the NL than the AL: What is baseball without its players and their totally out there personalities? It’s dudes in tight pants and matching uniforms hitting a white ball with wooden stick. Sound fishy? It should. So the least you can do is have those players have quirks that make them fun to watch.
Exhibits A-Z are one Manuel Aristedes Ramirez Onelcida (that’s Manny Ramirez for those of you counting names at home). Manny getting traded to the Dodgers and subsequently resigned is probably the greatest thing to ever happen to the National League this decade. The guy went from a hitting and RBI machine in Cleveland to a hitting and RBI machine in Boston who was good for going off the deep end once or twice a week in one of America’s most media saturated areas.
Chatting with the fans in the middle of the game. Asking to be traded to the Packers mid game in the Red Sox dugout. The engine revving contest that was his struggle with the Sox front office. Oh and there was that whole “Manny being Manny” catch phrase.
Forget the whole steroid saga(s) that popped this season because ManRam guy was interesting without that. Now he takes his act to the Dodgers, where he has a section of the stadium named after him and is playing for, according to some, the best team in baseball.
Alex Rodriguez was interesting for a minute but once he stopped stopped caking on his own reflection and became more nauseatingly diplomatic than he already was, he stopped peaking my interest.
Derek Jeter has the potential to be a train wreck but he does the cerebral thing and keeps his trash out the trash-bloids. All he does is move from one piece of prime female real estate to another (he sold high on Mariah Carey stock which cemented his Players Club membership).
So Manny wins this one hand’s down for the National League. The only thing that would make it complete is he gets cast as the title character in the eventual Hollywood remake of The Predator. I can’t be the only one who sees this happening.
Because the NL uses ALL its players (the designated hitter argument): This is not meant to be an endorsement or disparagement of the DH. But the fact is that the reason NL teams aren’t as offensively proficient as the AL is because they have to bat their pitchers. AL pitchers only have to worry about batting for a two week period during interleague play and, god willing, if their squad makes it to the World Series. And even then, its for three or four games.
NL pitchers have to prepare for all facets of the game. Now most of them can’t hit worth crap but there are the exceptions such as Carlos Zambrano, Micah Owings and Adam Wainwright (funny how ALL of them are in the Central. I promise it’s a coincidence). Wainwright and Zambrano sock dingers and Owings is used regularly as a pinch hitter for the Reds.
I like to see pitchers contribute in all aspects of the game. And to be real (be REAL REAL, SON), I’m more fascinated by dominant pitching than 15-13 slugouts. I love when the Cards put up big run totals but I’m more impressed with something like Tim Lincecum’s line from July 27. Once again, advantage senior circuit.
Because the NL is older: Age may be nothin’ but a number but there’s something to be said about older. Ask Finch from American Pie. He’ll tell you what’s up. This is also known as the “Big Brother/Little Brother argument.”
Because you all think so. Why else would you keep visiting this site?: Numbers don’t lie. You don’t keep doing something unless you get some sort of pleasure out of it. You all know the NL is better because you’re all NL fans. Now show this post to all your blowhard AL friends and let them in on the gospel. This church always is open to new members. And tithe offerings. We don’t get paid for this.
And before someone comes in with the All-Star argument, I’m going to direct to our friend Bronson “The Bro” Arroyo. I’m with him.